Taking place on the 14th, 15th and 16th of February 2014 in Odisha. Register Now!
Lap up the golden chance to be a part of an exhilarating, never like before India Surf Festival. This is a single platform where surfers, music buffs, water lovers, art aficionados, shutter bugs and people across the spectrum come together for a spectacular fiesta.
And no, you do not have to know surfing to be part of the outdoor gala.Just walk into the festival, onto the beach and into the water! Here is a complete guide forthe shimmering waves of Puri beckon!
A Great Start
India Surf Festival is in its third edition now. When the first edition came up, the organisers wanted people to come over and experience what is surf culture is all about. They called up like-minded folks like surfers, water lovers, musicians, photographers to be a part of this event.
The idea of the founder Sanjay Samantray (he has been into this from 1998) was to create a common creative platform for freedom of expression where people can happily express what they are good at and not just surfing.
Surfing Yogis started with surf boards. Many Indians believe that surfing is very dangerous and is about going into the ocean; conservative parents would not allow their kids to undertake it.
The whole idea of Stand Up Paddle was that the organisers wanted to popularise surfing in India and make it an everyday name. They came up with something like Walk on Water where people practically can visualise the whole idea of them standing on water. It is not about a board or a sport where you need to master some skills. The only thing you need is a board and all you have to do ride with it and get on top.
Once you get the strength in your knees to stand up in the board you can decide if you want to go to the next level which is ocean surfing where waves are propelling the boat or you can use the paddle to propel the boat. It is like a complete body workout because right from your feet, your knees and your hands, you have to paddle. In the process, you are paddling your own weight and the weight of the board. It is also a point of triumph and exploration.
You can take a book, go somewhere in middle of the lake, read it and come back. The whole experience is surreal with the kind of feeling you get, the connection with the water and the sky, surroundings. With SUP can practically sleep on the boards that are around 11 feet long.
The key high point of the festival is going to be the ‘Walk on Water’ Workshop. As the name suggests, learn to walk on water with the help of your stand up paddle board. The workshop is open to all the participants and is free. Learn to balance yourself and manoeuvre the surf board. The organisers have special professionals who will be teaching and conducting this entire event. What might seem challenging at first will become quite a thrilling and gratifying experience that you can take back home.
Everyone is Welcome
It is not that only surfers need to be in a surfing festival.Everyone is invited and this is open to everyone who feels connected to the water. Anyone can portray their talent;be it a visual artists, DJ, musician, jugglers, fire dancers, can come and perform.
There is every kind of people coming here. Also, in surfing there are different branches and types right from Freestyle surfing which is catching the waves, SUP and Kite surfing. There are speciality events for different kinds of surfing and generally the SUP surfers and Freestyle surfers are not really friends. What the organisers are doing is bringing everyone together. There is no segregation; you are friends with the water.
Also, the whole idea of the Surf Fest in the West is all about competition, you have a bunch of people who are competing against each other every single year. As there is limited number of surfers in India, the organisers do not want to generate that kind of culture. Here, people who have not done it before can come and witness exactly what all of this is about.
The response has been really tremendous with what kind of collaborations that have been made. They started with a bunch of people; hundred people the first year. In the second year there were 250 to 300 in-house participants with over 2000 to 3000 day participants. This year more than 5000 people are expected and 500 in-house participants.
The first year, the participants were proper hard-core adventure people only because those people knew about this. The second year that network grew. It is like a magnet like a magnet as the third year is bringing in many like minded people.
This year the highlight is primarily going to be Walk on Water as that is how the organisers want to make it an everyday name. They wish to erase the image of surfing as something that is difficult, unattainable and unreachable. Almost all the participants will get a chance to Walk on Water. In this way, apart from the surfers, other participants can be involved in the festival.
There will be international certified trainers who will be coming down and giving Walk On Water and Hungry lens workshop free of cost to all the participants.
As there are even non surfers who have never been on a surfboard, all security measures are taken care of. The instructors are all accredited from international organisations and there are life jackets and other safety equipment. It is safe and accessible to you. The idea is for the people to walk into the festival, onto the beach and into the water.
In case people are hydrophobic, they can just get their cameras and be a part of covering the entire event of Hungry Lens. Come evening, there would be gathering around the campfire where the photos will be projected, movies will be played and there will be musical performances.
The festival is well thought of where you practically have the experience of being outdoors. Enjoy being next to the water body and away from the city. It won’t be like surfers hang out with surfers only, musicians hang out with musicians only, and all of the people are dancing together. There is no segregation, categories and communities, it is one ground, and everyone is a part of it.
There are bands coming in from call across the world; DJs from Argentina, Japanand Switzerland. It is like a whole outer dimension where what happens around the world is all coming together here also. Along with that there will be traditional dancers from Bhubaneswar and the villagers around that.
You have jugglers, fire dancers, international DJs churning out like EDM, Hip-hop and very organic bands playing with the sitar. There is something for everyone and everything is good.
With India Surf Festival, witness a lot happening in terms of diversity, different art forms, sports coming together. There is no one special person, by the end of the day all are going to be buddies.
The experience is by the ocean is surreal. Puri has the very typical sunset and sunrise where it happens both in the ocean. The fest is held on full moon days where the moon is at the brightest stage of its blossom and the entire place becomes magical.
If you are really interested to perform on the stage, there are slots for you. If you are a painter,there are blank canvasses ready and you can start painting. It’s not only the artists who have to perform, everything is open for you to use, to be a part of, to create something, experience and to live in that moment.
For all you photography lover’s there is good news. This time around you have the concept of Hungry Lens. It will serve as the community gathering of all the amazing photographers India has today. You can come to the event and click pictures and share them. The organisers will make a pool of photographs and by the end of the day it will be curated and then displayed for everyone to see.
The participants might have missed some activity during the day but by the end of the day everybody is gathering around the campfire and can come to know about all the exciting happenings of the day with the slide show.
Just as we have Walk on Water, the basics where you need to stand on the SUP board, SUP yoga is yoga on water. This is for experienced SUP surfers, where you are get on the board and start performing.
First you do it on the beach, the confident people get in and try all of these yogic postures. Around 90 percent of them succeed in doing almost all the asanas. Conducting it will be an Indian and Spain instructor who specialise in this.
Reaching Out and Making a Difference
One year scholarship is given to various underprivileged people from weak economic background like fishermen who are into surfing but not be able to take this sport as a passion. The first and second year when the outreach programme started, the organisers wanted to give back something to the nature. They started with the beach cleaning.
In some disaster areas, SUP boats were used to transport the raw materials to the non-reachable areas. During disaster managements SUP people educate villagers from Chilika Lake to practise what Stand Up Paddle is so that at the time of crisis they can just use stand up paddle and go and rescue the people.
This is a hundred percent organic festival.Everything is made from natural materials and also there is no plastic or anything of that sort. When it comes to art, there is only organic art; all the materials used would be bamboo, wood or something similar.
A couple of years ago there were only 5 – 10 Indian surfers. Today there are around 150 surfers out of which around 100 are expected to be participating in the festival.
All their instructors are female, very experienced and are experts in making you comfortable. Discounts are given to female surfers and campers who come to the festival. All steps are taken to make it accessible and comfortable to woman.
The winner of the last year SUP cup was a female. Women are not only introduced, they are also winning competition. The organisation also goes to schools around Odisha and Bhubaneswar and gives the girl school kids free workshops.
There are around 20 countries participating primarily from Argentina, UK, Spain, Russia, France, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Netherlands and South Africa.
However, it should be noted that India Sup Cup is only for Indian surfers. The international candidates are at the participatory level where they give training and conduct workshops.
- Arrivals start on 13th evening.
- Registration counter open from 13th evening till 14th morning 10 am.
- Gate opens at 9 AM on 14th Feb 2014
- Please show your tickets for allocation of tents and collect the food coupons at the counter.
- Gate closes at 9 AM on 17th Feb 2014
- Lotus Resort, Ramchandi Beach – KonarkLotus Eco Village, Konark, India.
- Latitude: 19.857643
- Longitude: 86.07493
- Distance from Puri: 24 KMS
- Nearest railway station: Puri – 24 kms
- Nearest Airport: Bhubaneswar – 70 kms.
- Nearest International Airport: Kolkata – 375 kms.
Day 2 :
10 AM – India SUP Cup finals and Recreational race for the participants
Be a Part of This Exciting Fest
The India Surf Festival gives a great platform for people to come and express their talent. Different people are invited to be part of the festival, they may be artists, musicians, adventure enthusiasts or any other artist, there is no discrimination. If you think you can contribute in anyway, you can write to them and apply as a volunteer.
The organisers will talk to the people and see how they can fit you. You can get in touch with them through their website, www.indiasurffestival.org. Secondly you can just come in as a guest and can also register at thrillophilia.com. India surf festival February 2014 is going to be big!